John Flaus and I, backed by the fabulous Min and Sean, launched our new CD, 'What did I know? John Flaus reads poems by BN Oakman' at The Basement Café, 50 View Street, Bendigo on Sunday 15 May with an enthusiastic capacity crowd.
Some comments on my poetry:
'Nearly all the poems are strongly affecting emotionally, partly as a result of Oakman's unusual skill with last lines. These can turn quite suddenly in a new and disconcerting direction - or brutally sum up what we've just seen.'
'These wry, compact elegies for lost souls, doomed worlds, vanished ideals double as powerful protests against the rationalisations and reductions of post-modernity.'
'There is a gentle, but occasionally disconcerting, power in all Bruce Oakman’s poetry.
By trade I am an academic economist. I commenced writing poetry in 2006. Subsequently my work has been published in literary journals, magazines and newspapers in Australia, the UK and the USA.
My second full-length poetry collection, Second Thoughts, (Interactive Press 2014), was launched before a large crowd at The Castlemaine Art Gallery on Sunday October 12. It is available through this website: email firstname.lastname@example.org Second Thoughts was chosen as IP's 'Best Poetry Book of 2014'.
I was awarded a grant by the Literature Board of The Australia Council for 2009 and a chapbook, Chalk Dust: Poems from the Social Domain (Mark Time Books), appeared the same year.
My first full-length collection of poems, In Defence of Hawaiian Shirts, was published by Interactive Press in 2010 and is available at: email@example.com.
In 2011 the title poem of Chalk Dust was recorded for an ABC Classics CD, Peter Cundall Reads War Poetry.
In 2013 Secret Heart: Fourteen Poems was published by Mark Time Books. It's also available at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My work was nominated for The Pushcart Poetry Prize 2015 (USA).
I'm also a widely published and award winning short story writer.
I strive to create poems that attract readers without trivialising complex issues or compromising the quality of the written word.
My interests include the history, literature and poetry of the Spanish Civil War (see 'La Cuenta' in ' A Few Poems' on this website) and the political economy of inequality and social disadvantage.
I've restored, and now maintain, a 1975 Citroen D series saloon, sometimes called a 'Goddess' - a car described by the art critic Robert Nelson as one that 'couples dynamism with sensitivity: it is the closest a car will ever get to the condition of poetry'. It can sometimes also be an infuriating nuisance - not unlike writing poetry.
And in a persistent display of irrationality not normally associated with someone versed in the 'dismal science' of economics, I'm a long-term, card-carrying member of The Western Bulldogs Football Club. The membership book illustrated below pre-dates my birth-date by several years. I believe Seneca should be installed as patron philosopher of the club.
Before poetry I was obedient to Auden's edict (First secure an income.) by teaching economics, principally microeconomics and industry economics, in universities in Australia and England.
I live in Central Victoria with my partner, the analytical behaviourist psychologist Dr Barbara Coish.